25 Jun 2009

The Children’s Society today announced a new contract with Oldham Council to take over the running of five Children’s Centres in Oldham. The Children’s Centres in Alexandra, Medlock Vale, Werneth, Shaw & Crompton and Royton will be run by The Children's Society, an expert service provider, delivering the best possible outcomes for families, children and young people.

The two-year contract will create over 25 new jobs within Oldham. This includes the job of new Programme Manager, Shaheen Khawaja, whose 10 years experience in management will be key to the centres’ development.

This is the first time that The Children's Society will have run Children’s Centres in Greater Manchester, although the organisation currently runs Children’s Centres around England. The Children's Society has been working in Oldham for over 20 years, with current projects including the Alexandra Youth Inclusion Programme (YIP), working directly with young people who have been identified as at risk of offending, the Resolve Children's Counselling Team, who work with children whose lives have been traumatised by domestic abuse and the Children’s Rights Service promoting the rights of children and young people who are part of the care system.

The five centres, out of a total of fourteen Children’s Centres in Oldham, have been open and run by the council for one year, although The Children's Society will run them with expanded capacity.

Rob Jackson, Assistant Director, The Children’s Society, commented: “We are delighted to be able to make a continued difference to the lives of children in Oldham. We hope to deliver a high-quality service to the people of Oldham, meeting their needs and making childhood better for a large number of local children and families.”

Councillor Kay Knox, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said: “This is an exciting partnership with the Children’s Society that will make a positive and lasting difference to the everyday lives of children, their parents and the wider community. This agreement will ensure the provision of excellent local services, giving parents access to high-quality and affordable childcare. The Children’s Society has a wealth of proven expertise and I am certain that through this venture they will have a tangible impact on improving the quality of life for many residents in Oldham.”

Please contact Rafi Cooper in The Children's Society's media office for more information. Rafi.cooper@childsoc.org.uk or 020 7841 4526.

Notes to Editors:

The Children’s Society is a leading children’s charity committed to making childhood better for all children in the UK; The Children’s Society is a national charity driven by the belief that every child deserves a good childhood. To that end we provide vital help and understanding for those children who face the greatest danger, discrimination or disadvantage; children who are unable to find the support they need anywhere else. For more information visit www.childrenssociety.org.uk.